Tell the colonel of this brigade, that the enemy are advancing; that when their heads are seen above the hill, let the whole line rise, move forward with a shout, and trust to the bayonet. I am. tired of this long range work.In the storm which followed Bee's return to his command, he was soon on foot, his horse shot from under him. With the fury of despair he strode among his men, and tried to rally and to hold them against the torrent which beat upon them; and, finally, in a voice which rivaled the roar of battle, he cried out: “Oh, men, there are Jackson and his Virginians standing behind you like a stone wall.1” Uttering these words of martial baptism, Bee fell dead upon the field, and left behind him a fame which will follow that of Jackson as a shadow. It would be but the repetition of history to mention, at length, the movements of Jackson's Brigade that day. It was Bee who gave him the name of “Stonewall,” but it was his own Virginians who made that name immortal. This brigade checked the victorious tide of battle, but to turn it back was no easy labor. Around the Henry House and its plateau the contest raged with renewed violence and vacillating success for an hour; and then Jackson led his men in their last bayonet charge, and pierced the enemy's centre. The timely arrival of Kirby Smith and Early upon their flank, finished the work, and defeat was turned into a rout. General Jackson will be forgiven for this sentence in a letter to a friend: “You will find, when my report shall be published, that the First Brigade was to our army what the Imperial Guard was to Napoleon; through the blessings of God it met the victorious enemy, and turned the fortunes of the day.” And who was Stonewall Jackson, and of what stock? Although he was of sterling and respectable parentage, it matters little, for, in historic fame, “he was his own ancestor.” And it is well enough that Virginia, who gave to the war Robert Edward Lee, of old and aristocratic lineage, should furnish Jackson as the representative of her people. On the 21st of January, 1824, in Clarksburg, among the mountains of Western Virginia, was born this boy, the youngest of four children; and, with no view to his future fame, he was
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.